The Ottumwa Courier

Local News

June 13, 2013

City, water works troubles water under the bridge

OTTUMWA — The formerly rocky relationship between the city and Ottumwa Water Works and Hydro is now a cooperative, collaborative one, say city officials.

Communication between the two entities was strained last year after an argument at a City Council meeting led to accusations that the water works board of trustees was difficult to work with and its staff unprofessional. This prompted city and water works staff to organize more frequent meetings to re-establish lines of communication and strengthen the relationship — and it's worked, both sides say.

"I would say from a relationship standpoint, it's quite a bit better off than it was a year ago," said water works general manager Mike Heffernan. "We had a couple pretty significant issues a year ago last winter. We got by those and right now it's business as usual."

Debates about a water main by the Kohl's development and the transfer of control of Black Lake put some strain on the relationship.

"The city didn't want to relocate the water line [on Wildwood Drive]; they just wanted to cover it up when they put the new street in," Heffernan said of the Kohl's development. "Right now I think it's buried 10 to 15 feet deep and we thought it should be 5 to 6 feet deep. When they raised the street, we thought they should raise the water line up, too."

Water works also struggled with the decision to transfer control of Black Lake to the city to later be used by John Deere Ottumwa Works for its sewer separation project.

"We really didn't want to give up control because it is our third source of water, but the board did finally agree to go ahead and transfer Black Lake," he said.

Text Only
Local News
  • 0417 OTT Earth day color photo 1 -T -M Cargill celebrates Earth Day by educating ALBIA — In honor of Earth Day on Tuesday, April 22, employees from Cargill Eddyville and Cargill Pork are visiting with students at Grant Elementary and Lincoln Center in Albia all this week. On Wednesday the Courier caught up with them as they went

    April 16, 2014 3 Photos

  • 0417 OTT Saving Center color photo -T -L -M Hedrick building has friends HEDRICK — The community wants a civic center, and they've been willing to work for it. "I'd say we have 15 to 25 volunteers each time," Tommy Smith of Hedrick said. "These are all good people." Smith was volunteering his services at the Easter Brunch

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Southern Iowa farmers preparing for planting OTTUMWA — Even though the winter seemed to linger like Iowa was going through an ice age and cold and wet weather has highlighted the early spring, farmers are starting to get out to their fields to put down fertilizer and get fields ready for planti

    April 16, 2014

  • 0417 OTT Camp Wapello fence photo -T -M -L Good fence irritates good neighbor DRAKESVILLE — For 82 years, Camp Wapello’s iconic entryway has welcomed people to peacefully coexist with nature. Now there’s a 400-foot barbed wire fence down the middle of the road. In February, Davis County Supervisors approved vacating of portion

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Carrying bookbags a balancing act OTTUMWA — Permission slips. Notes from teachers. School activity announcements, birthday invitations, report cards and homework to sign. Kids bring home a lot of stuff. But is it done fairly? The school board this week was asked by ranking members of

    April 16, 2014

  • Van Buren supervisors deny hog confinement permit application KEOSAUQUA — A proposed swine building in Chequest Township didn’t receive a seal of approval from Van Buren County Board of Supervisors. Supervisors voted Monday to recommend to the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to deny the permit. Supervisor

    April 16, 2014

  • 0417 OTT Beth Howard bw cover -L -T -M 'Ms. American Pie' tours with her new book ELDON — With many hours and countless miles on her RV "The Beast," Eldon's pie lady, Beth Howard, is celebrating the release of her new book with a tour of southwestern states. Howard's second book, "Ms. American Pie: Buttery Good Pie Recipes and Bol

    April 16, 2014 2 Photos

  • Van Buren to share FFA with Harmony KEOSAUQUA — Van Buren Community School Board approved a recommendation from its administration to share the ag program with Harmony for the 2014-15 school year. The decision means that Van Buren students would travel to Harmony to receive ag instruct

    April 16, 2014

  • Attorney withdraws after client disappears OTTUMWA — Authorities are still looking for an Ottumwa man who didn’t show up for court proceedings. When they find him, he’ll need a new attorney. Jacob Nordyke faces charges of interference with official acts and possession of drug paraphernalia. H

    April 16, 2014

  • Waste Management wants to stay in Keosauqua KEOSAUQUA — Waste Management told the city of Keosauqua that it was not interested in ending the contract it has for solid waste and recycling services it provides to the city. A representative told the city mayor that it intends to fulfill the contr

    April 16, 2014

Photo reprints


Obituaries

Facebook
E-edition